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Some Quotes for Reflection on Grief

Updated: Jan 6

By Jill S. Cohen, NYC family grief counselor


So, as I write this week’s blog, I’m feeling somewhat thoughtful. This is why I decided to share with you some quotes on grief. Full disclosure: this grief counselor shed a few tears on the computer screen as she wrote out the quotes. But you know what, I have to practice what grief counselors try so hard to instill in their clients: TEARS ARE NATURAL. IT’S VERY OKAY AND HEALTHY TO CRY.


So, here are a few of the well-known quotes from authors, poets, and others.

  • Grief is like the ocean; It comes in waves; ebbing and flowing. Sometimes the water is calm, and sometimes it is overwhelming. All we can do is learn to swim. --- Vicki Harrison

  • Sometimes all you can do is lie in bed and hope to fall asleep before you fall apart. --- William C. Hannan

  • It’s possible to go on, no matter how impossible it seems, and that in time, the grief … lessens. It may not go away completely, but after a while, it’s not so overwhelming. ---Nicholas Spark

  • Grief is not a disorder, a disease, or a sign of weakness. It is an emotional, spiritual and physical necessity, the price you pay for love. The only cure for grief is to grieve. --- Earl Grollman

  • There is a sacredness in tears. They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition and of unspeakable love. --- Washington Irving


  • Moving on, as a concept, is for stupid people. Because any sensible person knows grief is a long-term project. I refuse to rush. Let no man slow, speed, or fix. --- Max Porter

  • The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing … not healing, not curing… that is a friend who cares. --- Henri Nouwen

  • We all want to do something to mitigate the pain of loss or to turn grief into something positive, to find a silver lining in the clouds. But I believe there is real value in just standing there, being still, being sad.--- John Green

  • Do not apologize for crying. Without this emotion, we are only robots. --- Elizabeth Gilbert

  • We think that the point is to pass the test or overcome the problem, but the truth is that things don’t really get solved. They come together and they fall apart. Then they come together again and fall apart again. It’s just like that. The healing comes from letting there be room for all of this to happen: room for grief, for relief, for misery, for joy. --- Pema Chodron

  • Grief is never something you get over. You don’t wake up one morning and say, “I’ve conquered that: now I’m moving on” It’s something that walks beside you every day. And if you can learn how to manage it and honor the person that you miss, you can take something that is incredibly sad and have some form of positivity. --- Terri Erwin

If you are having difficulty with grief, please go to www.jillgriefcounselor.com and click on the top tab, Do you need a Grief Counselor? For a FREE RESOURCE. My goal is to help people start the healing process after experiencing the death of a loved one. Grief is Hard. I’m here to help.

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